Endovascular Team

What to do after your visit?

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UTHealth Houston Neurosciences Neurology – Texas Medical Center
Appointment Line: 832-325-7080
Fax Number: 713-512-2239

Preparation instructions:

  • Nothing to eat or drink after midnight, the night before. If you have any breakfast, coffee, etc., you will not be able to proceed with the procedure
  • If you are taking any blood thinners (Plavix, Eliquis ®, aspirin) please continue to take them unless otherwise instructed not to.
  • You will need someone to drive you home after being discharged. You cannot drive yourself

Memorial Hermann
Memorial Hermann Memorial City Medical Center
921 Gessner Rd., Houston, TX 77024
Check in at Admissions on the first floor located at the East Tower

Texas Medical Center
Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center
1400 Ross Sterling Ave.
Report to the Sarofim Towers. Take the elevators to the 2nd floor. Check in at Day Surgery Admission

  • Your lab work must be completed two days before your procedure date.
  • You can go to any CPL (Clinical Pathology Laboratories) Quest, or LabCorp locations.

Call your pharmacy for refill requests and your pharmacy will contact the clinic.

Please be aware that orders for intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) Infusion Therapy may take several weeks for processing. Insurance authorization and the appropriate infusion company must be identified prior to setup. Please contact our office after one week to check on the status of orders.

About Neurointerventions Conditions & Treatments

Cerebral angiography

What is a cerebral angiogram?

A cerebral angiogram is an X-ray examination of the blood vessels (arteries and veins) of the brain performed by a physician with training in brain imaging. During an angiogram, the patient is generally awake but sedated, having received intravenous medications to help relax. A nurse trained in conscious sedation monitors the patient during the procedure.

The procedure is accomplished by inserting a thin tube or catheter in the femoral artery (the large artery in the leg) through a small nick in the skin. Under X-ray guidance, the physician then directs the catheter through the arteries leading up to the brain. Once in position, the catheter is used to deliver X-ray dye to the desired location, enabling X-rays of the brain to clearly show the condition of the blood vessels.

In most cases, several injections are needed to provide the desired view of the blood vessels. Once the angiogram is complete, the catheter is removed. To prevent the artery from bleeding, pressure is applied to the catheter insertion site for approximately 15 minutes, or a device may be used to make sure the artery is completely closed. Lasting approximately one hour, the procedure may require patients to undergo two-six hours of bed rest, dependent upon the methods used to close the vessel.

Why an angiogram?

Cerebral angiography Is the most definitive way to view the blood vessels of the brain. Jn addition to providing high-resolution images, an angiogram also provides information about brain blood flow with each heartbeat.

Brain aneurysms (weak spots in the vessel wall that can burst), vascular malformations (abnormal tangles of blood vessels or vessel constrictions), and vessel blockages (which can cause strokes) are among the conditions that can be accurately detected using an angiogram. This procedure, dependent on what it reveals, can also facilitate immediate treatment, which may involve directing medications and/or special devices through the catheter to the problem site to resolve the issue.

What are the benefits and risks of an angiogram?


A cerebral angiogram offers the most detailed depiction of the brain’s blood vessels. Computed Tomography (CT), Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), and ultrasound are often useful for making vascular and other diagnoses. Sometimes, the level of detail available only through catheter cerebral arteriography is necessary for further evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment planning. In certain emergencies, the catheter angiogram combines diagnosis and treatment into a single procedure.


All medical procedures carry some risks. The most serious risk of a cerebral angiogram is stroke. Stroke can result from blood clots that dislodge from blood vessel plaques or from the catheter. Cather-induced tears in the lining of the blood vessels (called “dissections”) can also cause a stroke. In both of these situations, blood flow is restricted depriving brain cells of the vital oxygen they need to survive. Overall, the risk of a stroke during diagnostic angiography at high-volume centers is less than 1%. Stroke, although uncommon, can result in permanent deficits including inability to move, inability to speak, or vision loss.

More common but less severe complications Include bleeding, bruising, or infection at the blood vessel puncture site and allergic reactions to X-ray dye or medications used for sedation. There is also some exposure to radiation.

All efforts are made to ensure these risks are minimized during a cerebral angiogram. Some risks may be patient specific and would be discussed prior to performing the procedure.

  • How do you prepare for an angiogram?
  • Prior to having an angiogram, your doctor needs to know if you:
  • Are pregnant or breast feeding
  • Have any allergies, especially to iodine dye
  • Have bleeding problems or are on any blood thinners
  • Have diabetes, especially if you take metformin
  • Have any kidney disease

You will be asked not to eat or drink for several hours prior to the angiogram. You may also be asked to not take specific medications. Blood tests may be performed prior to the procedure.

What is the recovery time after an angiogram?

Since angiograms are usually performed under sedation, you will be asked not to drive or operate machinery until the medicines completely disappear from your system the next day.

It is also important not to perform any heavy lifting for about a week after the procedure to allow the blood vessel puncture site in the leg to heal. Showers are permitted the next day after the procedure; however, you should not submerge the site under water (i.e.; no baths or swimming) until the skin nick is completely healed.